I have a friend who, after having been on a couple dates with a French guy, stumbled across something marked on his calendar a month to the day after they had shared their first kiss saying it was their would-be ‘1 month anniversary’ on that day.Since she’d only known him for two weeks, she was naturally quite alarmed at how far they’d already progressed as a couple in his mind.Oh how different things might have been if I’d known then what I know now… You flirt, perhaps touch each other a little, (or, in my case, he brushed my leg with his foot under the table once, I blush thinking he’s outrageously flirting with me only for him then to apologise for accidentally kicking me.) Anyway, the chemistry is going wild yet he hasn’t made the move and kissed you.I certainly learnt the hard way what you must never say to a French man if you wish to declare your feelings (en francais, parce que c’est plus romantique comme ça…) So, you’re dating. I was once in this position with a man I had feelings for, I was cautiously optimistic that he felt the same way but neither of us was brave enough to admit our feelings.If I’ve learnt anything during my two years in Paris, it’s that there are certain measures, habits and role reversals we women might feel the need to adopt when playing the dating game with French men.They are, as I’ve come to be enlightened, entirely different to English men.She soon came to realise, though, that this was oh-so-normal en France.When dating in any new culture that you’re not familiar with, it can understandably be daunting, especially if you’re speaking in a language that’s not your mother tongue.
‘Je t’aime bien’ I finally pressed ‘send’ after deliberating for longer than I’d care to admit. Yes, if he’d pulled out my heart with his bare hands I don’t think it would have been more painful than to read those words.If he’s really not making an effort, however, he’s probably not worth pursuing.I’d previously been used to a world where if you appeared ‘too keen’, you might lose the guy prematurely.I suggest leaving the grand declaration of ‘Je t’aime’ for the man.He will say it sooner than you think, since he probably already knows his true feelings for you after the first date.If the sun is shining, tell him you’d love to take a walk along the Seine.Once he gets to know you better though, make sure you’re not doing all the deciding work.But, when you say it ‘en français’, it doesn’t quite translate as you’d like it to.In other words, if you tell him ‘Je t’aime bien,’ your love interest isn’t likely to be making your relationship ‘Facebook official’ anytime soon.After many dates turning sour or crushes who disappear seamlessly into thin air, I’ve been educated on what to expect when you’re dating native French men. I’d spent my whole life believing it was the man’s decision to say where we should go, what we should do.I’ve been left speechless when I’ve been asked before several of my dates, ‘So, what would you like to do?